So most bloggy people know that this weekend is the big one. BlogHer. The place where bloggers go to eat, drink, be merry and finally meet “IRL”. Yes, there is a ton of networking, seminars and business-y type stuff going on… but let’s be honest… you’re just going for Sparklecorn.
It might be readily apparent that I am not at Blogher this year. Last year there were posts leading up to the big weekend, things about what to wear, how to act, making an elevator pitch (which I’ll be honest I didn’t even know what it was) and how to survive in a sea of bloggers when you are a very, very small fish. This year however, just wasn’t in the cards. Gearing up for kid 2.0, the cost of having a baby in this glorious land of ours and life seemed to get in the way this time around. Which is ok. But gosh, I’m a little green with envy watching my bloggy friends
play learn and network. Wendy, Suzanne, Lori? I’m looking at you ladies.
I will be honest, going to BlogHer changed my blogging life. I went there knowing very little about blogging (even though I’d been doing it for years) and knowing virtually NO-ONE there. It was a little bit scary and a whole lot exhilarating. When I left, I knew enough to set some serious goals for my blog… goals that were inspired by the people that I met and the things I learned. And I met them. Hell, I exceeded them. And even though I’m not at BH12 this year, I’m still going to make goals. I’m still going to try and make lists, and check things off with regards to my blogging life that I think will make me a better blogger. Because hey, we can always keep learning, right?
If BlogHer wasn’t in your cards this year? It’s cool. Because it’s not so much the actual conference that’s important, but the concept. Meet other bloggers. Learn from them. Share the information that’s out there that little green bloggers like me didn’t understand last year. Gosh, that probably don’t understand still. Meet a tribe of bloggers like yourself that will read your work and love you for what you write.
And if you can’t quite swing the hugeness and scariness that is BlogHer? Go smaller. Look for other conferences that aren’t quite so intimidating, or are geared a little bit more towards what you write. Try a Bloggy BootCamp, which is only one day and isn’t quite the monetary commitment. Or start even smaller by just finding bloggers in your area and hosting a meet up. Get together and make friends. Reach out to your community and share information, whether over a glass of wine at a restaurant, or even in a meetup in Google Plus.
Because at the end of the day, it’s the people that really matter. It’s jumping in with both feet and reaching out to make those connections. I knew no one going in, but came out with amazing friends. I also came out with incredible opportunities to do things I’d never thought possible. And those people and opportunities are the ways that you really learn how to be better blogger. And if you’re making those friends and opportunities happen with 3500 of your closest friends at BlogHer, or with 2 of your closest friends for coffee, it doesn’t matter. Make a connection.
Your blogging will thank you for it.